I am considering flying from United Kingdom to Australia via Doha, with a three hour layover each way. My (United Kingdom) passport would have <6 month validity so I would not be able to enter Qatar according to the U.K. government. However, I would just stay at the airport and so wouldn't need a transit visa. No problem.

However... if my connection was severely delayed for some reason then might there be an issue? According to the U.K. government, travellers cannot stay more than 24 hours in the transit area, so what would actually happen if I was forced to wait longer than that? Seems very unlikely but not impossible.

  • We transited through United Arab Emirates yesterday which has similar rules. My partners passport has less than 6 months left. No problems with the air line at all.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Mar 15 at 22:46
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    @Hilmar did your flight get delayed so you had to stay more than 24hrs? If not, what are you getting at?
    – DonQuiKong
    Commented Mar 16 at 12:38
  • We didn't get denied boarding. There is no requirement for "must be able to accommodate a 24+ hour delay" that anyone checks for. Its such an outlier case, that no on cares until it actually happens. What exactly happens depends on the details (country, passport, entry mechanism, etc). Typically a temporary visa or one-day stay permit is issued. I've also been "quarantined" in a hotel overnight once, i.e. we had a place to sleep but weren't allowed to leave the premises.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Mar 17 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


Many countries have different requirements for transit than for entering the country. In your case that's your passport validity, but more normally it'll be the requirement to have a visa to enter the country, when one is not required to simply transit.

Qatar has a requirement that your passport is valid for 3 months from the date of arrival (not 6 months as is often required), but this is only to enter the country. There is no equivalent requirement when in transit, so you will have no issues during transit.

If situations arise that you need to enter the country, such as a significant delay, most countries will make exceptions for rules like this - especially when it's clear the reason was beyond your control.

Even if they didn't make an exception to allow you to enter the country, there would be no issues with you staying airside for longer than 24 hours - again as long as the cause of that situation was beyond your control and could not have been avoided. This rule exists to stop people booking connections that are >24 hours (and to stop airlines from allowing such passengers to board), not for situations where the extended stay was caused by something like a flight delay/cancelation.

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    Thanks! - just wondering where you get the 3 months validity from? I checked at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/qatar/entry-requirements and it says 6 months Commented Mar 15 at 20:49
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    @S.Catterall The 3 months is from Timatic, the system airlines use to verify requirements. It's possible that it's wrong, but I'd probably trust it more than the UK government. Obviously the Qatari government sets the rules.
    – Doc
    Commented Mar 16 at 4:18
  • The official tourism website (visitqatar.com/intl-en/practical-info/visas) also says 3 months (and no visa required). If that's the case then in my specific situation I wouldn't actually have a problem entering Qatar, but it may be different for others. Commented Mar 16 at 12:02

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